This Delta Plan chapter discusses the trade-offs and conflicts inherent in managing water quality for multiple objectives. It recommends strategies to make balanced improvements primarily through the prioritization of projects and programs. It also provides support to related information in Chapters 3, 4, and 5.
State of California (State) agencies have broad authority to protect and regulate water quality. This chapter sets forth priority Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta)-specific recommendations for State agencies and focuses on four core strategies where best available science shows the need for improved water quality to achieve the coequal goals:
Require Delta-specific water quality protection
Protect beneficial uses by managing salinity
Improve drinking water quality
Improve environmental water quality
These core strategies form the basis of the 12 recommendations found at the end of this chapter. These major aspects are critical to protecting human health and improving the environment. Salinity is discussed in a separate section because of its importance as a defining characteristic of the estuary and its implications to ecosystem health, its linkage to water project operations, and its historical importance in the Delta.